As a homeowner, it is important to prioritize the safety of your household members. One of the most overlooked aspects of home safety is electrical safety. With the increasing number of electrically powered devices and appliances in our homes, it is crucial to be aware of potential hazards and take preventive measures.
In this guide, we will discuss some essential tips for preventing electrical accidents in your home. From basic safety practices to common hazards, here’s everything you need to know about keeping your household safe from electrical accidents.
Basic Safety Tips
- Understand Your Electrical System: Take the time to familiarize yourself with your home’s electrical system. Know where the circuit breaker is located and how to shut off power in case of an emergency. M.R. Electricians has equipment to trace and label every receptacle and switch in your home to make disconnecting power to a device via the circuit breaker very quick and easy.
- Inspect Cords and Outlets: Regularly check cords and outlets for any damage or wear and tear. Replace frayed or damaged cords immediately, and do not use them until they are fixed. If when plugging in devices to a receptacle the cord is loose in the receptacle it may be time to replace the receptacle.
- Use Extension Cords Properly: Avoid overloading extension cords and never run them under carpets or rugs. When using them outdoors, make sure they are designed for outdoor use. Extension cords come in many lengths and gauge. Also, extension cords should never be used as a permanent wiring solution.
- Unplug Appliances When Not in Use: Save energy and reduce the risk of electrical fires by unplugging appliances, such as hair dryers, toasters, and coffee makers, when not in use.
- Keep Water Away from Electricity: Never touch electrical appliances or outlets with wet hands and keep them away from any sources of water.
- Outdated Wiring: If your home is older, the wiring may not be up to code and could pose a safety hazard. Consider hiring a professional electrician to inspect and update your wiring if necessary.
- Faulty Appliances: Inspect appliances regularly for any signs of damage or malfunction. If an appliance is not working properly, unplug it immediately and have it repaired or replaced by a professional.
- Overloaded Circuits: Plugging too many devices into one outlet can cause the circuit to overload, leading to a potential fire hazard. Use power strips with surge protectors and avoid using multiple high-wattage appliances on the same circuit.
- Improper Use of Extension Cords: Using extension cords as permanent wiring or connecting multiple cords can create a potential safety hazard. Only use extension cords for temporary purposes, and make sure they are properly rated for the intended use.
- Water Near Electricity: Water and electricity do not mix, so always keep appliances and outlets away from any sources of water. This includes using ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where water may be present, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- DIY Electrical Work: Attempting to do electrical work yourself without proper knowledge and training can result in serious injury or even death. Leave all electrical work to trained professionals.
- Overhead Power Lines: Never touch or come near overhead power lines, and always keep a safe distance when working with ladders or other equipment. Even non-metallic objects can conduct electricity and cause serious injury.
- Flammable Materials: Keep flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and cleaning products away from outlets and appliances to prevent potential fire hazards. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use and storage of these materials.
- Childproofing: Make sure all outlets are covered with childproof caps or are tamper proof receptacles to prevent small children from accidentally touching them or inserting objects into them. Keep cords out of reach and teach children about electrical safety at an early age.
- Regular Maintenance: Regularly check and maintain all electrical equipment, outlets, and wiring to ensure they are in good working condition. Replace any damaged or frayed cords immediately. If when plugging in devices the cord is loose in the receptacle it may be time to replace the receptacle.
- Emergency Procedures: In case of an electrical emergency, it is important to know how to turn off the power at the source. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the main circuit breaker is located and how to shut off the power in case of an emergency.
Remember, electricity can be dangerous, but with proper precautions and knowledge, it can also greatly improve our lives. Let’s work together to prioritize safety and create a safer world for everyone. Stay safe!
You can always call M.R. Electricians to perform a safety survey of your home including infrared testing to look for overloaded circuit breakers, panel inspections to reveiw internal wiring to ensure it is done properly and to code, look for improperly grounded circuitry and many other items.